Hello everyone! I had the great pleasure of interviewing a young, up and coming designer and DJ, KJ Saneinia, otherwise known as West Hills. I am planning to do more of these called the ‘Red Sofa Series’, but we’ll see how that goes. Anyway, on to the interview!
DJ: So, why the name Westhills?
KJ: West Hills is the neighborhood I lived in whilst in Los Angeles. 818 all the way!
DJ: When did you get into DJing?
KJ: Around 2 1/2 years ago. My family has a massively musical background and after playing instruments and things in school I sort of loved the technological side of music. I was a bit of a computer geek as well so I always wanted to learn more about it. Hey remember when DJ hero came out and it just kicked off the entire thing.
DJ: What kind of music do you love listening too?
KJ: I listen to most of the stuff just due to the job! I listen to a lot of electronic music though. Deep house, drum and bass, dubstep.. just because I love finding new music, and playing it out to people is sort of the ultimate test.. I appreciate anything. For example, the new Justin Bieber album is pretty good (in places, I love “Memphis”) but Shadow Child’s “Collected” has been playing over and over since it came out.
DJ: What made you want to study Graphic Arts?
KJ: This is a strange one because I never really had an artistic trait in any of my family. I really suck at drawing, but I think it just came from the love of just seeing shapes, and how the way different shapes fit together. Just having a way to put all those things together on a computer and manipulate them without making a mess and quite quickly! The amount of experimentation you can do on computers is amazing. I’m not saying outside of computers you can’t experiment, but I just find that computers are the way forward for me as a graphic designer. I think logos are probably my main thing.
DJ: Got any favourite artists/designers or something that always inspires you?
KJ: I think my first favorite designer and still go-to designer right now is Matt W Moore. The geometrical shapes that he works with and the colors are always absolutely amazing. I’ve written quite a few essays and a presentation or two about him. I try and find inspiration just sort of around me, I love seeing art when I’m out in the city or just around in the field. I’m more of a shape-based person so it’s quite easy to find inspiration in the objects around me. Recently I got into doing poster/flyer design for events I’ve been playing at, but the thing is a lot of these poster designers aren’t actually credited on the posters they made. Amazing work though.
DJ: If your penis was an animal wh- I joke, who do you think are the kind of people that will buy your t-shirts?
KJ: Anybody really. I guess I’m sort of marketing to my age group, but then again it can be a pretty wide demographic. I mean I gave a shirt to Shift K3Y at the last show I played. He loved it! I also gave one to the absolute legend known as Danny Byrd. He’s older than me (in a non offensive way) and he quite liked it as well, amazing guy.
(Additional note: You can buy West Hill T-Shirts here.)
DJ: Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign?
DJ: Tell us 3 things/facts about yourself:
KJ: I basically only wear skinny jeans. It’s due to the fact that in school, my trousers we’re quite baggy and my legs seemed fat. Since then, I don’t wear them anymore, just jeans tapered to the ankles please! I’m a really self conscious person, and care way too much about what other people think of me.
I love anything made by Apple. I’ve been using them since I was two years old, sat on my granddad’s lap. I guess it’s not exactly a niche interest, but it’s something about me I guess. I’ve never owned a PC and never will.
When I’m djing, I basically bite my lips together for the entire set, it makes nearly all my photos look like I’m a turtle. It’s also really bad for my lips. But a habit is a habit!
DJ: Any last words?
KJ: Stay inspired, and ten steps ahead of everyone else.
DJ: Now gimmie your links to your portfolio/website/music. Thanks!
So, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it, if people like it or want to see more, feel free to comment or like and I’ll consider doing some more! Thanks, t’ill next time.